Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 10:40pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Hey BZPower, it's time for another set review! What are we reviewing today? Well it's 21303 WALL-E from the LEGO Ideas theme! This set was scheduled to be released on September 1st, but as we recently reported, it's been delayed at official LEGO channels. But what we really care about here is the set. Will you scrub it away like M-O with a foreign contaminant or will you travel through space just to be with this set? (Hint: it's the second one.) Well, now that I spoiled that, you should read on to find out why!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Like any LEGO Ideas set, WALL-E comes in a premium resealable box. The size seems a bit nonstandard, but I suppose that's acceptable for a set like this. The artwork is done up to evoke the dirty metal look of WALL-E's outer shell, with the movie logo appearing top and center beneath the appropriate Disney and Pixar logos. The bottom right indicates this set's LEGO Ideas origin - it's the twelfth one - although it's quite subdued. Honestly, most people are going to look at the box and see WALL-E's eyes staring up at them and won't see anything else.
The back is rather similar to the front, with WALL-E from another angle this time, as he examines the plant and shows off his dexterity. The LEGO Ideas content is a bit more pronounced, giving an overview of how the process works, but the robot is still the main focus.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
For 677 pieces, this was one of the most complex builds I've done in a while. The main torso is fairly straightforward, although there's lot of nice little details and greebles that keep it interesting. The treads are a good bit of Technic construction and help mix things up a bit. The eyes are just incredible though - there's a ton of SNOT and offsets with jumpers and all sorts of things going on here to get the right shape. They were a lot of fun to build. My only complaint is that you build the eyes before the arms, so while you're building the latter WALL-E is just helplessly staring at you and there's nothing you can do.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Flame Yellowish Orange is the color of the day here, with light bley, dark bley, and brown mixed in. Since the set isn't readily available yet there's no easily-accessible inventory, but none of the pieces seemed rare or uncommon to me. Of note, there are no stickers here, the WALL-E logo is printed on two tiles, as is the Solar Charge Level (not pictured). The two pieces that stood out to me the most were the 1x2x2x2 SNOT bracket in Orange, which seemed like an odd color choice, and the 3M Technic axle in Bright Yellow, which I didn't know existed. There's a lot of variety as long as you like Keetorange, which is nice since it's generally not a widely-available color. But you're not going to take WALL-E apart once you've build him, are you?
This set perfectly captures the look of WALL-E from the film. And he should, the original model submitted to LEGO Ideas was built by Angus MacLane, who worked on WALL-E as the Directing Animator and Storyboard Artist and was one of the people responsible for creating WALL-E's design to begin with. The grey and brown throughout the model indicate wear, as do the cracks in his sides. The only issues I have with the design are the hoses on the back of the head pop off easily, and the head itself doesn't have much friction, allowing it to spin freely if not posed carefully. Other than that though, this is a fantastic-looking model and is absolutely adorable. And they even included Hal, WALL-E's cockroach friend!
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
WALL-E has a ton of poseability. His arms slide back and forth and have a ball joint on the shoulder. The wrists rotate and each finger has two points of articulation. The treads spin, although it's easier on carpet, and the front door opens and closes. The neck has three click hinges allowing you to place it in a variety of positions, and the head spins (a bit too much) and the eyes swivel. All this means you can put WALL-E in a ton of different positions and he can look great in each. He can be sad, curious, happy, or anything in between. You're not going to run out of poses for him, and I'm sure kids and adults will have tons of fun playing with him.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Near-perfect representation of WALL-E
- 677 parts for $60 - good value
- Lots of Flame Yellowish Orange pieces
- High amounts of playability
- It's WALL-E!
- He's so adorable!
What's not to like?
- Not enough friction on the head causes it to spin too freely
WALL-E just might be my favorite set that I've built this year, and I've built the new Toa and the awesome UCS Slave I. You get 677 pieces for $60, but that's irrelevant because you're probably not going to take WALL-E apart - he's just too cute. He captures the on-screen version so well and is so much fun that I think anyone who ever saw the movie should pick him up. If there's one non-CCBS set you buy this year, make it WALL-E.
Thank you all for bearing with me as I gushed over the set. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the Talkback - we'd love to hear your feedback there as well. We should be having a bunch of other reviews coming out later this week that are of a more constraction persuasion, so keep checking back, right here on BZPower!
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